Thursday, August 18, 2016

Coffee for mosquito bites!

The K-Cup machine is a godsend. No, really. Like most of America, we run on coffee around here. As Lorelai Gilmore famously put it, "I can't stop drinking the coffee. Stop drinking the coffee and I stop doing the standing and the walking and the words-putting-into-sentence-doing."

No question that K-Cup coffee runs more than a standard drip coffeemaker. Not even close. The Atlantic did a comparison last year and estimated that K-Cups wind up costing about $40 per pound. We also buy quality beans for the coffeemaker, and that runs less than $10 a pound. So yeah, it's a huge expense.

On the other hand, there's no waste with K-Cup coffee, since you make what you want when you want it. Coffeemaker coffee sometimes gets stale or cold. Not saying that that evens the score, but it makes it a little closer. Still cheaper than going to Starbucks, too.

And there is one handy trick I learned (another life hack from Fred!), using K-Cups for mosquito bites.

I had heard that a hot spoon on a mosquito bite will break down the protein that causes the itch. Apparently this is horse hockey, but there is at least the advantage that the heat will prevent the nerves from registering the itch by flooding the zone with heat pain. So here's what you do.

You take a hot K-Cup that has just dispensed its magic fluid. You wait a little bit---the water comes out of my machine at 180 degrees F, which will burn you immediately, so you have to wait until it's cool enough to hold, maybe about 120 F. At 120 it takes 3 minutes to get scalded, but as it drops to 116 it takes 35 minutes, according to the chart in this report. As long as you can hold it to the bite for one minute without burning the skin, it should work. (Be careful: Neither I nor Keurig bear any responsibility if you use one that's too hot or apply it for too long. Use some common sense.)

I find it keeps the itch away for hours, much longer than the application of an ice cube, and sometimes the thing goes away on its own during that period.

So that's my One Weird Trick to using K-Cups to stop mosquito bite itching. Not exactly a life hack, but the way the skeeters have been after us this damp summer, I'll try anything. And if it means I have to drink more coffee, so be it.

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